Life consists mostly of waiting, punctuated with moments of excitement. It’s in the waiting that we prepare, learn, and change so we’re ready when opportunities emerge. I am thankful life isn’t an endless sequence of noisy excitement, how exhausting that would be! The waiting makes the positive moments worth it, and the negative moments easier to tolerate.
I like to write about the moments that exist in the between, because that’s where the really good stuff happens; that’s when the growth occurs. We meet people in all stages of waiting: waiting for a birthday, a graduation, the arrival of a baby, for a vacation, better job, a diagnosis, or a new horizon. What makes people fascinating is how they handle the anticipation.
Waiting is at the heart of my second yoga-inspired picture book, When Mama Grows with Me. In the book, the parent and child move through all the steps of gardening from seed to flower, and in doing so, learn together to be more patient and grateful. Those times we do not see evidence of growth on the outside, are the times we are growing on the inside! The book ends in autumn with the parent and child planting bulbs in preparation for spring.
Even in the warmth of the late summer air, I can smell the beginning of autumn. As the first brown leaves crunch under our feet and the queen bee prepares for a long winter sleep, we hide bulbs in the earth for next spring’s flowers. During the winter, when we cannot see the sprouts and blooms, our garden works beneath the surface. Mama calls it a biochemical process. The cold temperatures help the bulbs prepare for spring.
"Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean the plants aren’t growing on the inside,” Mama says.
-from When Mama Grows with Me
When Mama Grows with Me also pairs yoga poses with each stage of gardening. Pairing lessons with movement allows young readers to make connections between the natural world and their own emotional experience. And what better practice to exemplify the power of waiting than yoga! Like with gardening, in yoga there is no “perfect”. Over time, yoga provides a path to an improved sense of body awareness and mental focus, which requires patience and not perfection.
So what are you waiting for? How will you fill the time until the future arrives?
Keep looking up,